Tokyo, April 23 (Jiji Press)–Japanese prefectural governors called on the central government Thursday to introduce traffic regulations on national roads during the Golden Week holidays to minimize people’s movement across prefectural borders in the fight against the coronavirus.
In its proposal submitted to the central government, the National Governors’ Association also called for banning the use of state-managed parking spaces during the holiday period from late this month to early May.
“We want to work with the central government to achieve a target of reducing interpersonal contact by 80 pct during the long holidays, a period of great movement of people,” Kamon Iizumi, chief of the association and governor of the western Japan prefecture of Tokushima, said in the day’s videoconference with the central government.
In addition to seeking the Golden Week special measures, the association asked the central government to impose no taxes on subsidies to be provided as “cooperation money” to businesses suspending their operations at the request of prefectural governments.
The governors also called on the central government to seek industry organizations’ cooperation with prefectural governments’ business suspension requests.
“Now that two weeks have passed since the Japanese government declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus crisis, the results of our countermeasures will be put to the test,” economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said in the conference.
Referring to the proposed traffic regulations, Iizumi told reporters after the meeting that the governors want the central government to utilize the best possible means, not going as far as shutting the national roads to all traffic. Nishimura told the governors that he will convey the proposals to the transport ministry, according to Iizumi.
At a press conference on the same day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga sounded negative about adopting the governors’ proposal.
“We aim to minimize the impact (of measures to deal with the coronavirus epidemic) on social and economic functions,” Suga said. “We won’t implement measures like city lockdowns in other countries.”